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It’s going to rain

Published 9:55am Monday, October 7, 2013

FRANKLIN—The rain is coming.

Tropical Storm Karen, which is hitting the Gulf, is expected to create significant rainfall for the Western Tidewater area come Monday evening, said Lyle Alexander, meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Wakefield office.

“All we are expecting is some rain,” he said. “The system is expected to lose its tropical characteristics by the time it gets here.”

As far as an actual hurricane event hitting the area, Alexander said it wasn’t likely.

“Chances look small, but you can’t rule it out,” he said. “With the season still having two months left in it, you just have to stay tuned into the media and keep an eye on it.”

Alexander said the most active area this season has been in the Gulf and Western Caribbean. The tropical Atlantic area, so far, has been pretty quiet.

“But things can develop pretty quickly, so you have to be ready this time of year,” he said.

Hurricane Hazel, which was in 1954, happened in late October, and it hit the Mid-Atlantic area. Sandy, last year, was also late in the hurricane season.

“They do not typically happen that late, but you have potential,” he said.

Hurricane season runs until the end of November.

In case of damage to your home, the weather service advises to have plywood bought in advance to avoid a last minute rush for it.

A preparedness kid includes water, 1 gallon per person each day; non-perishable food and a can opener; a cell phone and charger; batteries, flashlight and radio; medications; toiletries; documents, such as deeds, insurance and birth certificate; a first aid kit; emergency contact info; extra cash; extra clothes, blankets; baby supplies if you have an infant; pet supplies for your pet; family entertainment such as board games; extra car and house keys; matches; propane for grill; rain gear; work gloves; duct tape; scissors; bleach; and a whistle.

Keep all of your emergency equipment in an area where you can find it should the power go out, and make sure it is in working order.

The National Weather Service also recommends knowing the emergency routes and where the shelters are in advance of a hurricane’s arrival.

U.S. Routes 460 West and 58 West, and Route 10 West are the emergency routes for the Western Tidewater area. More information can be found at www.virginiadot.org/travel/resources/hurricaneevacuation1.pdf.

Franklin High School, Southampton High School, Windsor High School and Smithfield Middle School are the area emergency shelters.

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